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respecting their tempers and dispositions, by the manger in which they conducted their conversation.
It must be observed, that this gentlemen's eyes were not totally insensible to intense light. The rays refracted through a prism, when sufficiently vivid, produced certain distinguishable effects on them. The red gave him a difagreeable sensation, which he compared to the touch of a faw. As the colours declined in violence, the harshness lessened, until the green afforded a sensation that was highly pleasing to him; and which he described, as conveying an idea similar to what he felt in running his hand over smooth polished surfaces. Polished surfaces, meandering streams, and gentle declivities, were the figures by which he expressed his ideas of beauty. Rugged rocks, irregular points, and boisterous elements, furnished him with expressions for terror and disgust. He excelled in the charms of conversation; was happy in his allusions to visual objects; and discoursed on the nature, composition, and beauty of colours, with pertinence and precision.
Doctor Moyes was a striking instance of the power the human soul possesses, of finding resources of fatisfaction, even under the most rigorous calamities. Though involved « in ever-during darkness," and excluded from the charming views of fikent of animated nature; though der pendent on an undertaking for the means of his subsistence, the success of which was very precarious ; in short, though destitute of other support than his genius, and under the mercenary protection of a person whose integrity he fufpeited-still Dr. Moyes was generally chearful, and apparently happy. Indeed it must afford much pleasure to the feeling heart, to observe this hilarity of temper prevail, almost universally, with the blind. Though“ cut off from the ways of men, and the contemplation of the human face divine,” they have this consolation, they are exempt from
Pud. d July 26.1804.by.R.S.Kirdy. 11. Londen Howe Fard Scott. 447. Strand. JOHN METCALF, OF MANCHESTER.
the discernment, and contagious influence, of those painful emotions of the foul, that are visible on the countenance, and which hypocrisy itself can scarcely conceal. This disposition, likewise, may be considered as an internal evidence of the native worth of the human mind; that thus fupports it's dignity and chearfulness under one of the leverest misfortunes that can posibly befal us.
JOHN METCALF, a native of the neighbourhond of Manchester, where he is well known, like the gentleman abovementioned, became blind at a very early age, so as to be entirely unconscious of light and its various effects. This man passed the younger part of his life as a waggoner, and, occasionally, as a guide in intricate roads during the night, or when the tracks were covered with snow. Strange as this may appear to those who can see, the employment he has fince undertaken is still more extraordinary: it is one of the last to which we could suppose a blind man would ever turn his attention. His present occupation is that of a projector and surveyor of highways in difficult and mountainous parts. With the assistance only of a long staff, I have several times met this man traversing the roads, alcending precipices, exploring vallies, and investigating their several extents, forms, and situations, so as to answer his designs in the best manner. The plans which he designs, and the estimates he makes, are done in a method peculiar to himself; and which he cannot well convey the meaning of to others. His abilities, in this respect, are, nevertheless, so great, that he finds constant employment. Most of the roads over the Peak in Derbyshire, have been altered by his directions ; particularly those in the vicinity of Buxton : and he is, at this time, constructing a new one, between Wilmslow and Congleton, with a view to open a communication to the great London road, without being obliged to pass over the mountains,
Since the above was written, and had the honour of being, delivered to the Society, I have met this blind projector of the roads, who was alone as usual; and amongst other conversation, I made fome enquiries respecting this new road. It was really aftonishing to hear with what accuracy he described the courses, and the nature of the different foils, through which it was conducted. Having mentioned to him a boggy piece of ground it passed through, he observed, that “that was the only place he had doubts concerning; and that he was apprehensive they had, contrary to his directions, been too sparing of their materials.".
(Communicated by Mr. Bew.)
ADDITIONAL LINES ADDRESSED TO
MR. BENTLEY, OF LEADENHALL-STREET; A man, who, posleffing a cultivated mind and generous dispofi
tion, assumes the character of a Misanthrope, and lives the life of a Hermit.
By Mr. John DOBBINSON.
Communicated by a Correspondent.